Thursday, February 27, 2014

Typical Weather and Tourism in Greenland

Greenland is located in the Northern Hemisphere, so its winter solstice is on December 21st.  During this month the average high is 24 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low is 17 degrees Fahrenheit.  These temperatures can be compared to the current temperatures experienced in northeast of the continental U.S.  The most common form of precipitation during this period is moderate snow.  However, light snow is also common during the beginning of the month.
The Summer solstice in Greenland is on June 21st.  During this month the average high is 44 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low is 35 degrees Fahrenheit.  The most common type of precipitation during this period is light rain.  However, moderate rain is common earlier in the month. Temperatures during the summer solstice there can be compared to winter temperatures in the northwest of the continental U.S.
The spring equinox occurs on March 20th in Greenland.  During the month of March, the average high is 21 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low is 13 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spring is when the worst weather in Greenland is experienced, as apparent from the temperature range.  The most common type of precipitation during this period is heavy snow.  However, moderate and light snow is also common at the beginning and end of the month. 
The autumn equinox in Greenland is on September 23rd.  During the month of September, the average high is 42 degrees Fahrenheit and the average low is 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures during the autumn equinox are fairly similar to temperatures during the summer, so the autumn and summer is when the best weather in Greenland is experienced.  The most common type of precipitation during this period is moderate snow.  However, light to moderate rain is also common.
Dreading the sweltering summer heat?  Well then, dig out those wool sweaters, and escape to Greenland, where its winter all year round!  As apparent from the information above, the best time to visit Greenland during the year is in the summer.  Specifically, the best months are July and August, as that is when the temperatures can get as high as approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  During this period Greenland is characterized by flourishing nature as the snow recedes and plant life starts to emerge. Common tourist activities, during the summer months include whale watching and sailing.   

Picture of Greenland during the summer.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Temperature Controls in the city of Nuuk in Greenland

This blog post will examine the climate and weather of the capital city of Greenland, Nuuk.  A great deal of this post will deal with how certain temperature controls, including but not limited to, altitude and geographic position affect the weather and climate in which Greenland is characterized by.  Lastly this blog will dive into the effects climate change has on the future weather and climate conditions of Greenland and what controls will ultimately be affected.

The capital city of Greenland is Nuuk.  It is located on the southwestern coast of Greenland; to be precise its latitude and longitude coordinates are 64.1750° N, 51.7389° W.  Other characteristics of Nuuk are that, its warmest time of the year is during the month of July with an average temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  Its coldest time of the year is during the month of February with an average temperature of 16 degrees Fahrenheit; the annual range of temperature for Nuuk is 29 degrees Fahrenheit.

A temperature control that affects Nuuk is geographic position, specifically by windward gusts.  This moderates the land temperature so there isn't a big fluctuation throughout the seasons.  It allows for cool summers and moderate winters.  However this is not necessarily the case since Greenland is located at high latitudes this causes the average temperature to be lower than it would if it was located at lower latitudes with the same windward gusts.  A temperature control that doesn’t affect Nuuk is altitude.  The city of Nuuk is located by the coast and roughly a little above 200 ft above sea level so the temperature is often regulated due to the wind or ocean currents rather than to height. 

Based on the physical characteristics of Greenland and the consistent increase in the world’s average temperature, it’s apparent that the future climate of Greenland will have dire consequences. It is very possible that in the future due to an increase in the world’s average temperature, the ice sheets, that are characteristics of Greenland, will melt.  This will cause an increase in the sea level and as a result coastal areas will become submerged, decreasing the average surface area of the island as a whole.  Apart from that, the increase in temperature will cause a disproportionate distribution of the seasons, with an increase in summer months.  As a result of the increase in the summer period, the average temperature of the island will rise, giving way to more decrease in ice sheets.

It is apparent that Greenland’s climate and temperature are affected differently by different temperature controls.  The capital city, Nuuk, as discussed is mainly affected by geographic position but not nearly as much as by altitude.  In the future, if global temperatures continue to warm, cities like Nuuk, that lie on the coast, could cease to exist as ice sheets continue to melt and increase the ocean levels.